Wayne Gretzky — Hockey's greatest player

  • Wayne Douglas Gretzky is born in Brantford, Ontario

    Wayne Douglas Gretzky is born in Brantford, Ontario
  • Gretzky's teen years

    Gretzky's teen years
    While playing in the International Pee Wee Hockey Tournament in Quebec, Gretzky, then 14, is often overwhelmed by fans looking for autographs.
  • 16-year-old Gretzky joins the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds

    16-year-old Gretzky joins the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
    Gretzky, 16, joins the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds in 1977. Gretzky wanted to wear #9, like Gordie Howe. He took #99 after wearing #19 for a few weeks.
  • Gretzky becomes an Oiler

    Gretzky becomes an Oiler
    The WHA's Indianapolis Racers trade Gretzky to the Edmonton Oilers of the WHA in November of 1978. (Photo: Edmonton Sun)
  • Gretzky tallies 7 assists, a record for first-year players

    Gretzky tallies 7 assists, a record for first-year players
    Gretzky tallies 7 assists, a record for first-year players, in a game against Washington. (Edmonton Sun photo)
  • Gretzky wins Hart and Lady Byng trophies

    Gretzky wins Hart and Lady Byng trophies
    Gretzky wins the the Hart Trophy (MVP) after scoring 51 goals in 1979-80. Gretzky becomes the youngest player (19 years, two months) to score 50 goals in a single season. He also wins the Lady Byng for a mix of sportsmanship and skill.
  • Gretzky wins first of seven consecutive Art Ross Trophies

    Gretzky wins first of seven consecutive Art Ross Trophies
    Gretzky wins his first of seven consecutive Art Ross Trophies for being the NHL's top scorer. He set NHL records for assists (109) and points (164) in the '80-'81 season.
  • Gretzky scores his 50th goal in 39 games

    Gretzky scores his 50th goal in 39 games
    Gretzky scores his 50th goal in 39 games, versus Philadelphia. He bested the record of 50 in 50 set by Maurice "The Rocket" Richard and Mike Bossy.
  • Gretzky scores 100 goals

    Gretzky scores 100 goals
    Gretzky scores 100 goals total in the '83-'84 season and playoffs. (87 +13) (Edmonton Sun file photo)
  • Gretzky and the Oilers win their first Stanley Cup

    Gretzky and the Oilers win their first Stanley Cup
    The Oilers beat the New York Islanders in five games to win their first Stanley Cup.
  • Gretzky is appointed to the Order of Canada

    Gretzky is appointed to the Order of Canada
    Gretzky was named an officer of the Order of Canada in 1984, but wasn't able to get the insignia until 1998 because the ceremonies are usually held during the hockey season.
  • Gretzky dominates the league

    Gretzky dominates the league
    In the '84-'85 season, Gretzky ranks first in goals, assists, points, shots on goal, shorthanded goals, and consecutive-game points streak. (Edmonton Sun file)
  • Gretzky and the Oilers win Stanly Cup #2. He sets a record in the post season.

    Gretzky and the Oilers win Stanly Cup #2. He sets a record in the post season.
    Gretzky tallies a record 17 goals and 30 assists in the 1985 post season, wins the Conn Smythe Trophy (MVP of the playoffs), and brings the Stanley Cup back to Edmonton a second time in as many years. (Edmonton Sun File)
  • Gretzky and Oilers punted from the playoffs

    Gretzky and Oilers bow out of the playoffs in the Smythe Division final after they can't recover from a Steve Smith own-goal in the early third period of Game 7.
  • Gretzky scores his 500th NHL goal

    Gretzky scores his 500th NHL goal
    The 25-year-old Gretzky scores the 500th goal against Vancouver goalie Tory Gamble.
  • Gretzky named Team NHL's Player of the Series in Rendez-Vous '87

    Gretzky named Team NHL's Player of the Series in Rendez-Vous '87
    Team NHL splits a two-game series with the Soviet national ice hockey team. Gretzky is named Team NHL's Player of the Series.
  • Gretzky and the Oilers win their 3rd Stanley Cup

    Gretzky and the Oilers win their 3rd Stanley Cup
    As well as helping the Oilers to their (and his) 3rd Cup, Gretzky won the 1986-87 Art Ross Trophy (top scorer), Hart Memorial Trophy (MVP), Lester B. Pearson Award (most outstanding player in the regular season) and the NHL Plus/Minus Award.
  • Gretzky and the Oilers win their 4th championship in 5 years

    Gretzky and the Oilers win their 4th championship in 5 years
    Gretzky wins the Con Smythe trophy, the trophy for the most valuable player of the playoffs. The Oilers beat the Boston Bruins in the Stanley Cup final.
  • Gretzky gets married

    Gretzky gets married
    Gretzky marries actress Janet Jones at St. Joseph's Basilica in Edmonton, Alta. on July 16, 1988. It was dubbed "Hockey's Royal Wedding."
  • Gretzky traded!

    Gretzky traded!
    Gretzky is traded to the LA Kings, along with Marty McSorley and Mike Krushelnyski. The Oilers got Jimmy Carson, Martin Gelinas, $18 million (Cdn), L.A.'s first-round pick in 1989 (later traded to New Jersey for Corey Foster; the Devils picked Jason Miller), L.A.'s first-round pick in 1991 (Martin Rucinsky) and L.A.'s first-round pick in 1993 (Nick Stajduhar).
  • Gretzky statue unveiled

    Gretzky statue unveiled
    A statue of Gretzky is unveiled outside of the coliseum in Edmonton. (David Bloom/Edmonton Sun)
  • Gretzky wins his 9th Hart Trophy

    Gretzky wins his 9th Hart Trophy
    It's the first time an LA Kings player wins the award for MVP. (Edmonton Sun file)
  • Gretzky becomes all-time leading scorer

    Gretzky becomes all-time leading scorer
    Gretzky becomes the all-time leading scorer, against the Oilers, surpassing Gordie Howe's total of 1,850. (Edmonton Sun file)
  • Gretzky scores his first goal with the St. Louis Blues

    Gretzky scores his first goal with the St. Louis Blues
    Gretzky joined the Blues on Feb. 27, 1996 in a trade for Patrice Tardif, Roman Vopat, Craig Johnson, and two draft picks.
  • Gretzky joins the New York Rangers

    Gretzky joins the New York Rangers
    The Rangers sign Gretzky to a free-agent contract. That reunited him with former Oilers teammate Mark Messier. (Edmonton Sun file)
  • Gretzky named Greatest

    Gretzky named Greatest
    The Hockey News names Gretzky the Greatest Hockey Player of All Time. (Edmonton Sun file)
  • Gretzky plays his final game

    Gretzky plays his final game
    Wayne Gretzky's final NHL game was a 2-1 loss to Pittsburgh. He assisted on the New York Rangers' only goal. He was 38 when he retired.
  • Gretzky wins Olympic Gold

    Gretzky wins Olympic Gold
    Gretzky wins gold as the executive director of Canada’s Men’s Olympic Team.
  • Gretzky is named to the Order of Hockey In Canada

    Gretzky is named to the Order of Hockey In Canada
    Gretzky is one of five people to receive the inaugural Order of Hockey In Canada, for making a significant impact on the sport in the country. (Photo: http://www.hockeycanada.ca)